The opinion of the court was delivered by: John E. Miller, District Judge.
This case was tried to the Court without a jury on March 29,
1957, and at the conclusion of the trial the Court took the case
under advisement pending receipt of briefs from the parties. The
briefs have been received and now the Court, having considered
the pleadings, ore tenus testimony of the witnesses, exhibits,
and briefs of the parties makes and files herein its Findings of
Fact and Conclusions of Law, separately stated.
The defendant, Richard Hammond, is the son of the defendant,
W.V. Hammond. The defendant, Jack Shipley, is the son-in-law of
W.V. Hammond and a brother-in-law of Richard Hammond.
In 1953 the defendant, Richard Hammond, owned a 1950
Oldsmobile. Subsequently Richard Hammond entered the armed
forces, and the 1950 Oldsmobile was traded in on a 1950 Chevrolet
pickup truck, which was purchased in the name of W.V. Hammond and
was owned by him.
Later Richard Hammond was discharged from the service and
returned to his home in Mountainburg, Arkansas. On December 20,
1955, the said defendants, W.V. and Richard Hammond, purchased as
co-owners a new 1956 Oldsmobile from the De Witt Oldsmobile
Company in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck,
owned by W.V. Hammond, was traded in on the new Oldsmobile, a
credit of $650 being allowed therefor. In addition to the
trade-in, $250 was paid in cash, of which amount W.V. Hammond
paid $100 and Richard Hammond paid $150. The new Oldsmobile was
purchased under a conditional sales contract. Richard A. Hammond
signed as purchaser and W.V. Hammond signed as co-purchaser. The
invoice of the De Witt Oldsmobile Company shows that the
automobile was sold to "Richard A. or W.V. Hammond".
On the same day, December 20, 1955, W.V. Hammond took all of
his automobile papers to the Farm Bureau Office in Van Buren,
Arkansas. He showed these papers to Miss Mae Spoon who was
working in the Farm Bureau Office. He advised her that his son,
Richard Hammond, owned an interest in the automobile. The policy
in question, No. A257077, was issued by the plaintiff, Southern
Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, to W.V. Hammond as named
insured, said policy covering the 1956 Oldsmobile.
Richard Hammond remained in Mountainburg, Arkansas, for a short
time after the purchase of the new Oldsmobile. Then, in January
1956, Richard Hammond went to Texas to work, taking with him the
new Oldsmobile. He worked in Texas until August 1956 and kept the
Oldsmobile with him most of that time. While in Texas, Richard
Hammond registered the Oldsmobile in his own name and a Texas
certificate of title was issued to him. In August 1956 he
returned to Mountainburg, Arkansas.
In the spring of 1956 plaintiff sent a notice to W.V. Hammond
that an additional premium of $8.50 would be required "primarily
because of the fact that there ...